In a month, you're not going to want to read about what happened in 2014. It's sad, true, and unavoidable. You'll be so caught up in the trials and tribulations of 2015, you won't have time to look back. You might be there already.
Here, then, is your last chance to reminisce without the burdens of baseball reality crashing down upon you. The Giants are undefeated in 2015. They're coming off a brilliant postseason. It's time to end this bracket of happy moments and see which Giants postseason highlight wins the entire tournament.
We've left behind Sergio Romo freezing Miguel Cabrera and Brian Wilson freezing Ryan Howard. Buster Posey shattering the existence of Mat Latos made it to the Final Four, but no further. Cody Ross is long gone, as are Pablo Sandoval's three homers. Brandon Belt winning it in the 18th could have been the best Giants postseason highlight from The Catch to Will Clark singling up the middle, but it couldn't make it that far in a bracket made out of the last five seasons.
You have two highlights to vote on. They're both perfect. You have the impossible task of deciding which one is more perfect.
The Giants win the 2010 World Series
Do you remember where you were? Of course you do. Do you remember the shots of the Civic Center crowd, the post-game celebration, the parade, the Blu-Ray release, re-watching Posey's frantic scramble to the ound, Aubrey Huff holding his cap aloft before throwing it into the celebratory abyss, and the feeling you had when you actually had your first World Series Champions shirt, hat, jacket, or whatnot? Of course you do.
This was the pitch that made Charlie Brown stand up from the curb and scream with joy. All three of the runs are special and amazing and unlikely, but this was the first one. This is the one that happened despite the burden of history. This is the one that made you realize the universe didn't hate you and your sports team, and that if the baseball gods existed, sometimes they could be pretty cool.
This is one of the best moments of your life as a sports fan, and for two years after it happened, there was no way you could imagine anything even coming close. I still can't believe it all actually happened.
Travis Ishikawa wins the pennant
On the surface, this seems like a mismatch. The first video is of a World Series win. The second one is of an NLCS win. Heck, even the 2002 Giants could win the NLCS. Can't be that hard.
That's far, far too complacent about what it takes to win a pennant, though. Before the extra rounds of playoffs, before there were divisions and wild cards, pennants were a huge deal. No one calls it "The Shot Heard Round the World that Led to a World Series Loss." All you can hear when you think of that highlight is "The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant." They were going to the World Series, and they were going because of a walk-off homer.
Say, that's a clip up there of the Giants going to the World Series because of a walk-off homer. Seems like it's on the same level, in some ways.
It's not on the same level. The Giants and Dodgers were blood rivals playing in the same city in 1951. It was an elimination game, and the Giants were down 4-1 in the ninth inning. They had to go 37-7 over their last 44 games just to force the three-game playoff, and they had to win their last seven games of the regular season. That game might be the perfect product of the greatest comeback team in sports history.
On the other hand, the Giants went to the World Series because of a walk-off homer. It's easy to suggest the Cardinals were done for because they were down 3-1 in the series, but if they win that game, they go back to St. Louis. Madison Bumgarner probably doesn't foreshadow his Game 7 bullpen heroics from the World Series, which means the Giants had to use a completely different pitcher. They were screwed if they didn't win that game.
Travis Ishikawa has put the ball in play 21 times in his career on a 2-0 count. Eight of those balls were grounders. Four of them were scooped up harmlessly by an infielder, and probably could have been a double play. Would you have been stunned if that happened in this situation, if Ishikawa were little too overanxious and pulled the ball right to Kolten Wong? Of course not. Every championship season from every team is still lousy with double plays at the wrong time all year. One more wouldn't have been surprising.
Instead, the Giants won the pennant, the Giants won the pennant, the Giants won the pennant. On one swing, all of those what-ifs and worries were gone. The Cardinals weren't going to repay the Giants back for the unlikely comeback of 2012. The Giants won the pennant, at home, in front of 43,000 delirious fans.
So now you have to pick.
You're so hosed. Unless you remember that there's no wrong answer, that is.